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Dec 1, 2011

Pajamas to the Office -- Yea or Nay?



Readers, while I was sitting on my ceramic Pintastic yesterday, I stumbled upon a colorful fashion spread in this week's New York magazine, entitled "Street Pajamas."  Apparently, female versions of classic men's pajamas are the new look du jour for gals.  They're not just for sleeping anymore!



The feature (which you can view online here) profiles four women about this new fashion trend.  Notice anything they have in common?









Writer-blogger (ahem), Public-Relations Assistant, Fashion Consultant, Writer -- welcome to the 21st Century workforce!  It's no wonder these women can wear pajamas all day. 

The jobs these women have don't exactly match the prices of these jammies, however.  How many writer-bloggers are spending $2,500 for an outfit, let alone one that has a drawstring waist and comes in S, M, L, & XL?





The loose, flowing pant look is cute, just as it was in the 1930's worn by such actresses as Ginger Rogers and Betty Grable.  In the old days, however, lounging pajamas were more like playsuits crossed with lingerie than the menswear-inspired pj's being promoted in the magazine, and they weren't intended to be worn downtown.



I recently acquired this lovely pajama pattern, but again, they're not men's-style pajamas.



Readers, what do you think?  Do you ever wear pajamas like the ones featured in New York magazine out of the house?  Would you ever consider wearing them to work?

In other news, I had the privilege of spending a few hours over dinner yesterday evening with Elizabeth of the blog Sewn.  Elizabeth is a highly skilled cook and charming host (can you say hostess anymore?) who, unfortunately, is a little challenged in the area of vintage Singer Featherweights.  Hers is a lovely machine in excellent mechanical order but it was badly in need of a better-fitting bobbin to operate effectively.  Fortunately, we found one among her sewing notions.

Friends, it's so true what they say, how Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  Even an eccentric Martian like me enjoys coming to the aid of a Venusian in distress, and I felt proud that upon my exit, her machine was stitching beautifully and Elizabeth was no longer tugging at her tousled tresses in frustration.




Please don't think that just because I am a high-profile sewing personality, I am unapproachable.  Pas du tout!  If Elizabeth had only served dessert (and perhaps some decaf), I would gladly have helped her with any other small household tasks that needed attention.  Maybe next time, Elizabeth!

In closing, readers, I must get your opinion about pajamas as daywear.  Do you think I could wear these seersucker shorties out of the house -- perhaps to my next dinner/sewing machine maintenance engagement?



Street pajamas -- Yea or Nay?

Perhaps not the most memorable number from Astaire & Rogers' The Gay Divorcee, but full of cute lounging outfits (and a very young Betty Grable).

71 comments:

  1. Um. Those pajamas look exactly like the slacks and overblouses that I wear almost every day to work. So, I don't know how to answer the question. Lacy teddy-type delicate and dainty and see-through pajamas? No way. Elastic-waisted slacks and a blouse in cotton prints? Si si.

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  2. I like your seer sucker PJ's, they might be good for summering at the beach or poolside. I agree who spends $2500.00 on PJS! I can think of better sartorial ways to spend that money (down payment on a Chanel suit? LOL) I am nay on PJs like that out of the house and definitely not to work unless of course your work is home bound than by all means rock on. Elizabeth's Featherweight is a beauty and it is so sad when they get tangled since it happens so rarely. By the way your posts are the light of my morning, I come to work early just so I can catch up on all the blogs I read and yours never fails to have me in stitches (I love puns to.

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  3. A pajama blouse has been on my to-sew list for ages. Silk charmeuse, loose, with piping and a flat collar. The trousers, not so much. Another thing that the women listed have in common is that they are all in their 20's, which is an age when you can get away with looking slovenly.

    Oh, and Susie Bubble is not your typical writer/blogger. It's pretty clear that she does not actually have to purchase anything, but gets it all free from companies looking for her to promote their products.

    Your evening with Elizabeth sounds lovely!

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  4. Street Pajamas NAY, NAY, Nay. Let me say that again, no pajamas out of the house. Now that's just my opinion, but it is a strong one.

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  5. NAY! And I work at home too. Occasionally I wear my PJ's to drop my teenager off at his school bus stop (3/4 mile away); but not out of the house! Well, maybe if I was rushing a kid to the ER.

    But then, I prefer not to wear shirts that button at all, so that may be part of it.

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  6. Apparently, wearing pajamas out of the house has been popular in China for a long time. Back when China was preparing to host the Olympics, they were running all kinds of PSA campaigns asking people not to wear pajamas out during the Olympics because officials thought it make them look bad as a nation. Here's an article about a different event: http://observers.france24.com/content/20100225-can-you-ban-people-going-out-pyjamas-shanghai-expo-2010

    There's nothing new under the sun.

    That said, I will continue to keep my jammies for bedtime purposes only.

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  7. Maybe another good question would be: wear pajamas out of the house _and_ at the same time expect to be taken seriously.

    The first one: own choice

    The second one: always

    Combined: NO GO!

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  8. Hmmm. They all have bad posture. Is that what they have in common?

    That woman in the blue get-up looks spectacularly ridiculous. Her long toes hanging off the edge of her sandals really pull that look together, don't they? But the winner is the woman with the flowers who claims "lacy tap shorts" as part of her day-wear, but only if paired with something "appropriate". Brilliant.

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  9. Forties pajama suits I'd wear in a flash, especially if they were in non pajama fabrics. Loose pants and less-loose shirts? Possibly.

    Some pajamas in the women's section flirt with daywear looks,and have since at least the 1940's if I can believe my pattern collection. Women who can't spend $2500 on a pair of pants have always known this and shopped accordingly. This is not a fashion trend. This is the wealthy swiping a necessity move from the po' folk.

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  10. Way back when, they were made out of polyester knit and were called "pantsuits" (for women) and "leisure suits" (for men). If you're not wearing them to bed, are they really pajamas? I think as long as they fit and are not see-through or otherwise overly revealing, they are probably okay.

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  11. Nay. I wish I could love it, but my first thought upon looking at those outfits is, "They're wearing pajamas."

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  12. You live in New York where ANYTHING is possible. I bet you could walk down the street and no one would look twice. Except possibly tourists.

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  13. I am conflicted. My gut says no PJs out of the house. NO! But when I look at the pictures they just look like expensive silk elastic-waisted pants. I mean, I see the PJ-ness there, but I don't look at them and think PJs first thing. I suppose if you are under 30 and a stylist you can pull it off, but if you are under 30 and just a regular old home seamstress you look ridiculous. Or like an undergrad.

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  14. NO. Dammit, NO!!!!

    Maybe I'm getting older, but I cannot and refuse not to understand this trend. I see grown people in the grocery stores in their pj's, slippers and rollers. All at the same time! SMDH.... I just can't understand why folks refuse to get dressed to leave the house. It is a sick trend that needs to stop.

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  15. Even in our little backwater in Upstate NY, pjs (or even half a pj, just the flannel pants) are not considered acceptable in the workplace. At one point where I work, years ago, we had a couple of youngsters who wore pj pants to work, were warned, insisted, and were 'let go'. Sweats and flip flops are other items that are a 'no no'.

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  16. NO to Pj's outside the home!!!! And I am horrified that I forgot to serve the banana bread to you. Utterly horrified. Do you want to come back tonight for dessert?

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  17. I will admit to the sin of wearing pajama pants in public. But in my defense, they were the only pants that would fit over three inches of compression bandaging, and I was a college student at the time, so nobody really cared!

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  18. Sadly, Elizabeth, I do not travel south of 14th Street for anything in the "quick bread" category. Is it iced?

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  19. Mmm, I saw this look on the street the other day, but admittedly the woman did have a bottle in hand and was rather worse for wear...
    I think Caroline Sieber's outfit is quite cute though!

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  20. No P.J.'s outside the home. This is a disgusting teenage trend that has been going on for some time. When I was in school we slashed up our jeans and such, and that was intentional unpresentableness :) Now, kids can't even be bothered to take the effort to trash their clothes, they just roll out of bed and go to school. I can't believe any designers would pick this crap up and pitch it to adults, but I guess some of those grubby pajama wearing teens are in their 20s now.

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  21. What they have in common is they're all young (though one I believe shaved a few lunar cycles off of reality).

    The pajama top as blouse, I get it. But for the money, wouldn't a charmeuse jumpsuit offer more cache', and live to be worn another day?

    Suddenly I'm pondering Cathy in curls. Perhaps for spring/summer '12?

    Wistfully,

    Testosterone

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  22. Recently a work colleague said she'd rather go out of the house naked than without her make-up. I feel that way about pyjamas.

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  23. I think that section in New York magazine is hilarious. "Students" and "social media consultants" (i.e. Twitterers) wear $800 sandals and $1,200 leather T-shirts. They should call it "What Trust Fund Babies Are Wearing Now."

    Pajamas outside: not the pajamas I can afford. Maybe if mine were Louis Vuitton I'd feel differently.

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  24. I can't see the pajama thing catching on across the country. Love the simplicity pattern especially the polka dot dressing gown but the PJ's are great too. Now those I would wear out in public.

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  25. What they have in common:
    All 20-somethings who still wear teenager clothes. Time to grow up.

    PJ's out of the house: NAY
    PJ's at work: NAY

    I agree the seersucker outfit would work poolside.

    Thanks for the fun clip!

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  26. I agree with Amanda. Its New York. I've seen teenagers here in the midwest who look like they just rolled out of bed and out the door to school but where would these women be taken seriously other than in NY city? Am I going to follow a fashion blogger who says "wear pajamas out to work?" Not on your life. Not professional. Not even good looking. But I am old and live in the midwest. Maybe I'm jealous.
    Sewgranny

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  27. nay. Just nay. Maximum distance from the front door: the newspaper on the front walk.

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  28. Absolutely not - no pajamas out of the house. I find it disturbing to see people shopping in their pj flannel bottoms. Your seersucker outfit at poolside or on the beach, yes. In the city walking on the street? Hell, no.

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  29. I think they all deserve a spot on "What not to Wear". This has to be the most disgusting trend yet. Maybe the designer jammies will creep as far as Greenwich, CT. But once out of range of NYC the look quickly deteriorates into men's flannel bottoms from Walmart worn with Crocs. It's really appalling.

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  30. It used to be that only old ladies (ok, older than me) used to wander out in their pjs while the rest of the world looked on and thought they'd lost a marble or two. So, NO, NO, NO pjs in the office. Do these people ever want a promotion? What good is an advanced degree if you look like you couldn't be bothered getting dressed?
    Heather (the cranky)

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  31. I'm assuming that most of these folks were actually paid to step out of the house in PJs.

    I had a fab pair of Asian print satin PJ bottoms I got at the Goodwill outlet for 39 cents that I wore the heck out of back in 1990. But I didn't tell people they were PJs!

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  32. I just love the juxtapositioning here:

    Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth said...

    NO. Dammit, NO!!!!

    S/he is, of course, correct. :-)

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  33. Nay, nay, all the way to pajamas for daywear or any other wear except for sleeping. I have horrible childhood memories of having to stay in my pjs when I was home from school sick. Icky-poo! Don't like pjs!

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  34. No way....we have gotten so casual in this country that the designers are now validating it. YUCK! It's all good to be comfortable and all that, but to go out in your pj's shows unbelievable disrespect for the people around you. It goes hand in hand with the disregard for simple manners. Putting your best foot forward and manners is not about YOU....it's about respect for others. What is this world coming too? (I just realize how Emily Post this sounds, but come on people!)

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  35. NO to pj's outside of the house. Or, at least NO to the types of pj's I have seen worn at my local grocery.
    However, if I were young and thin, I think I might wear that black & white striped pair out in public. Love those!
    Mermie

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  36. I remember a trend when I was a teenager - (early '90's) for vintage silky pajama tops being worn as regular tops. I think very few people could pull off the jammie bottoms aswell though! Although it's a pretty common look in some parts of this country - not unusual to see girls wearing pajama bottoms with ugg boots and a hoody top. not my kinda thing though!

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  37. There's enough weirdness in today's offices without adding pajamas. My sole experience with pajamas in public was during my recent university sojourn, when wearing pajamas to one's early-morning classes was the latest thing for the freshmen girls in the dorms to do. The tank tops and floppy pants weren't so bad, but I think some of the jersey boy-shorts may have contributed to near-fatal bike accidents.

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  38. Would I wear a super expensive designer pyjama top out of the house? Maybe, as part of a 'real' outfit. Cheap flannel pj's? No way.
    Deliberately looking like you cannot be bothered to get dressed is just tacky.

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  39. Well, if the PJ look doesn't do it at your workplace, maybe Prada's Spring/Summer 2012 housecoat look might fit the bill!!! Take a peek at http://www.thewomensroomblog.com/2011/10/10/trend-alert-housecoats/
    So that way you can just wake up in the morning, don the old dressing gown and head straight to work. No more worrying about 'what to wear'...

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  40. NO! NO! NO! And that's coming from someone who frequently wears purple hair out of the house. But not to work, because then I wouldn't be taken seriously...same as if I wore pajamas.

    And when did we start spelling pajamas with a "y" in it?!?!?!? Sheesh!

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  41. I guess it beats just wrapping yourself in a down comforter and heading out in your underwear.

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  42. Slip dresses and lacy tap shorts... I think I've found my outfit for work tomorrow. I'm a high school teacher, I bet lacy tap shorts will make the students REALLY pay attention to me.

    I'd like to see these young fashionable women wear pajamas to a real job.

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  43. Testosterone,
    That's funny- "shaved a few lunar cycles..." I know which one you mean, because I thought the same thing. Yeah, right, pajamas are cool to wear out of the house, and she is in her 20s....

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  44. Snap....i've been thinking about nightwear becoming daywear of late and have been collecting 1940s patterns in anticipation of sewing for my miss22 who is very tall and very slim. In my minds eye i can see her willowly frame in wide leg pyjama pants that have had the waist band widened then perhaps even boned for structure.

    a great morning's read!

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  45. OK, my 2 cents is...only very dressed up pj's intended for street wear should be worn to work. Depends on where one works, of course. I don't think the seersucker pj's should be worn outside, Peter. No, no, no.
    But I had a pair of my grandmother's China-blue silk Chinese pj's, trimmed and embroidered in yellow silk, when I was about 12. Stunning and now rotted. <:~(

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  46. Not those pajamas, jamais, jamais!

    But how about "Kitchenette Pajamas" as shown in this link?
    http://www.decadesofstyle.com/vintage-patterns-1930s/3001-1930-kitchenette-pajamas

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  47. My vote is no.

    Because if I wore MY customary sleepwear downtown, I'd end up with jail time.

    Well, that or my own calendar.

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  48. I'm against the "casualization" of the public space. I don't want to see people in their nice street pajamas. Nay, nay, nay. It's one more way for designers to slack off on fitting and flattering the female figure so they can make trends for mass production. No.

    I do have a few pairs of 30's beach pajamas, but the "nicest" place I wear them is the farmer's market. I wouldn't even wear them op-shopping.

    NAY.

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  49. Firstly, your friend has gorgeous hair. My relatives wore lounging suits, but they were quite glamorous. You lounged around in them, and were prepared for unexpected guests. They even had jackets that matched. The pants were loose but stylish.

    I think when you are young you probably could wear anything. If people want to wear pj's out of the home then that is their choice, but I would never of worn them myself.

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  50. Gack! I would hate it if that caught on here.

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  51. No no no, hate the idea. Although as someone who works from home, sometimes I do spend the day in PJs, though I try to avoid as much as possible!

    And in whose world do PJs cost that much, not my little freelance world!

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  52. You're just adorable :) The professions of the ladies in the article made me giggle too. If they had selected a collegiate academic advisor, I would have said we can get away with a lot but not PJ's at work... even $2500 ones.

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  53. I have not read all 50 something comments...but aside from Hugh Hefner, few can make this work. I love, love, love the idea of dressing gowns and luxurious satin bathrobes like were worn in the 30's and 40's movies. On my bucket list, is to wear one of these outfits and saunter down a curving staircase and into the arms of Cary Grant..or someone alive today...maybe hubby!

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  54. NO. Sleep wear should be worn to sleep in and unless one sleeps at ones desk it is inappropriate. Likewise slippers should be worn indoors only. Sandals should not be worn in rain or snow. Boots should be worn only in rain or snow. And so on.

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  55. Have those women seen peopleofwalmart.com b/c that sight has plenty of people wearing jammies in public...I think that would make most people swear off such a tacky trend.

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  56. If I paid over $1000 for pajamas, I'd wear them to the office. And the opera, Canadian Tire, etc- pretty much day and night for a few years to get my money's worth.

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  57. I just love the way he's wearing socks with his sandals. So British! (and no, I don't care whether he actually is or not...)

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  58. The only time I've ever seen people traipsing about in public in their pyjamas is when I was at university. It always struck me as a statement of "I'm too lazy to even get dressed."

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  59. Clio - for your edification
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pyjamas

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  60. Noooo good lord no not in the office. Its bad enough that my kids are allowed to wear them to school.

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  61. Clio said...
    'And when did we start spelling pajamas with a "y" in it?!?!?!? Sheesh!'

    Since always, as Valerie as posted above :) 'pa' looks really weird to me!

    If it's loose cotton trousers that look a bit like pyjamas I'm ok with it. Loud print cotton trousers used to be a trademark of european backpackers and a lot of loose summer trousers are quite pyjama-like. However, actual pyjamas, that's a trend I hate! Keep those pink flannel, kitten print numbers in the house please!

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  62. Although the magazine models don't help us visualize the ickyness of this trend, my (college) students have already been there, done that, and the smart ones learned that pyjamas don't hold up well in real life classrooms, commutes, stores, cafeterias, or libraries. The seams split, especially the crotch seam, and the soft fabrics absorb lots of visible dirt, and rip easily when caught in other people's shoes. Then there are job interviews, and the slow dawning of the idea that their personal image affects how other people judge them. So it's still popular for first-years but the seniors not so much. In the meantime they don't care if the rest of us are grossed out. Spare me, please.

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  63. If its smart plaid pajamas pants I wont mind wearing outside the home. Even I wear my silk top with skirts. They look really amazing. However, I just love wearing flannel pajamas at home. I've bought new flannel pajamas from SleepyHeads.com and I love the completely.

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  64. There is nothing more comfortable than spending my day at HOME in PJs ..... Lol.... Love it!!! But definitely not for work..... Maybe if I was 25 hrs younger and had the figure I had back then.... Maybe?????? Love that you wrote an article on this Peter.... I was wondering the same question when I saw them on the SS 12 catwalks...... How many people could actually pull that off successfully ????
    I would love to be able to afford to saunter around the house in designer PJs...I think they could make you feel glamerous .... At ... Home......:) But seriously how many of us could even afford 1 pair for that ..never mind seven pairs..... However..... perhaps it gives us something new to make for house clothes...... Just use gorgeous fabrics.......and simple easy to wear patterns....
    Would be great for a little hospital stay I guess??? And lovely for cruising on a boat... Great sun protection while being cool and comfy...:) But definitely NOT to the office.......:) wouldn't be able to tell me apart from the patients...lol!!!! Thanks for the great post.... Something we were all wondering I think...... :)

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